Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit them, three weeks after Kyiv failed to receive Steinmeier.
The office of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said today that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy extended the invitation in a phone call with Steinmeier earlier in the day.
“Past inconveniences have been resolved,” the Steinemeier office said, adding that the president had expressed “solidarity, respect and support” for Ukraine.
German President Steinmeier planned a visit to Kyiv with European leaders last month, but the Ukrainian side made it clear they did not welcome him. Sheet picture Germany, meanwhile, quoted a Ukrainian diplomat as saying that Steinmeier was “not welcome in Kyiv at the moment” because he had “close ties with Russia”.
In Germany, the Federal President plays a mainly ceremonial role, while the Prime Minister directs the government and makes important decisions.
Steinmeier, a former German foreign minister, has faced growing criticism since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February over its years-long policy towards Moscow, particularly when it backed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Prime Minister Scholz has been criticized for not visiting Kyiv and hesitating to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Also, when Germany’s opposition leader Friedrich Merz visited Ukraine this week, Scholz said he did not want to go to Kyiv until the rift between Kyiv and President Steinmeier was closed. Chancellor and President are both members of the Social Democrats.
In a phone call today with the Ukrainian head of state, Steinmeier said that Germany is “joining forces on the side of Ukraine”. Ukrainian President Zelensky also tweeted and praised the phone call with Mr. Steinmeier.
“There was a good, important and constructive exchange with Federal President Steinmeier. Thank you for the strong support for Ukraine and we look forward to increasing that support. Germany’s role is very important to counter Russian military actions,” said Zelenskyy.
Sheet The world Today it is reported that Germany is preparing to deliver 7 PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers, one of the most powerful self-propelled howitzers in the world, to Ukraine. German military commanders warn that moving the PzH 2000 to Ukraine could weaken the country’s defenses at a time when the country’s military capabilities have been stifled by a lack of funding for years. Corresponding The worldthe Bundeswehr owns 119 PzH 2000 complexes, but only 40 of them are operational.
Germany initially refused to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. However, Berlin changed its stance after Chancellor Scholz came under heavy pressure from his western allies to provide military support to Kyiv. Scholz said last week that Germany was “ready to do more” and would continue to send weapons to Ukraine.
Huyen Le (Corresponding AFP, Guardian)